As we prepared for the recording sessions, the Rangi team sat together to discuss which chapters in Mark should be recorded first. With Easter approaching, the team was very interested in recording the crucifixion and resurrection chapters. We decided to read those chapters together to listen for flow issues and to test the translators' abilities to read aloud. I was following along in my printed copy of Mark when I realized that the translators were not reading their copies, but rather, they were reciting the section completely by memory. This really surprised me. "How have you memorized so much Scripture?" I asked them. They replied, "We have read it so many times when translating it that we have memorized entire sections. It is easier for us to memorize God's Word in our mother-tongue." How exciting to see how the work of translation is helping the translators hide God's Word in their hearts!
Maingu, one of the translators, read the Easter story for the recording. He is well-known and respected in many Rangi villages, so the people will enjoy hearing his voice and will trust what they hear because they know and trust Maingu.
When we were recording the story of Ruth, we needed women to take the parts of Ruth and Naomi. One of our local workers took the part of Ruth, but we still needed a more mature voice for Naomi, so we returned to a village primary school, where we had previously taught people to read in the Rangi language. A teacher there agreed to be Naomi, and the head teacher agreed to give her time to make the recording. So through this process, we found our "Naomi" and also built even stronger links with that local community.
Please pray that God will speak His living word into the hearts and lives of many Rangi people as they listen to these new recordings. Pray that God will move and many Rangi will come to know Jesus as their Living Lord and Saviour.